Bobby Sessions On Dallas, ‘RVLTN’ and Doubt
Rising Artist of the Week, Dallas MC Bobby Sessions, can speak it into existence. He saw a life and a platform that he strove to use to spread knowledge, and nothing could stop him from pursuing that. His debut EP under Def Jam, RVLTN (Chapter 1): Divided States of AmeriKKKa, is here and it’s packed with power. Take a listen below while Sessions talks to TIDAL about everything that led to today.
“Like Me” and “Pick a Side,” your first two singles from your new EP are forceful songs in both sonic and lyrical content. How did you arrive to having those two songs be the music you lead with as the project nears?
I’ve been making music about social issues for about six years now, and nowadays, as we are able to see these injustices take place in front of you, in real time, it presents an environment that makes me prone to use that in my art. I think, coming out of Dallas, it would have been to rap about my team and this and that. Although, with this platform, I think it’s important to understand the responsibility; not only to music and hip-hop fans but to my people, it’s my obligation to speak up and speak out on what I see.
Were there any challenges or discoveries along the way of finding your creative voice back in 2012?
I think it was the murder of my cousin, James Harper. He was killed by law enforcement, and it really opened my eyes to speak about these issues publicly. I talked about in private with loved ones and spoke at programs at local schools about social issues, but to use my platform and voice for those who couldn’t spread light on their similar situations really shaped a lot of what I do today.
The challenge was not speaking on these issues. There’s no room for me to let discomfort prevent me from speaking on what I see and what I care about.
When you chose to fully invest in your career and quit your day job, was that decision a difficult process or just a means to an end? Were there any moments of severe doubt?
I always knew what I wanted to be doing even before I submitted the application. I let my mind convince me that I needed this false sense of security to fund my dream. Before this, I was rapping in a collective and I was working two jobs while a student at the University of North Texas.
I was feeling like the hamster in the wheel, and I knew I needed to take a chance. If you’re working a 9-5 and you’re making no money, by the time you pay all your bills, the money is gone anyway. It made sense to me to use my best skill and asset, which is putting words together. All in all, it was an easy decision.
I don’t think the doubt ever goes away. It’s just a matter of how each person handles those feelings. When I quit my job recently, that was my second time doing that. I think I’m starting to find some success now because of how I managed those extreme times of doubt.
Does that doubt motivate you or impact your creative output at all?
Not necessarily. I just put my energy in a different direction. For example, in the early years of my career, I always had a plan B and plan C and plan D. For some reason, I didn’t think I was capable or worth it to make plan A work. I was always prepping for something to go wrong. The way the laws of attraction work, in my opinion, I was creating that environment. Once I fixed my outlook and there were things that changed with that new mindset, it was a paradigm shift.
How’d you uncover your potential as a rapper?
I never really wrote things down as a kid, but whatever circle I was in, I think I was the best rapper. I never had the self-image of a rapper, so when I got to college and I saw guys rapping in a cypher and seeing people’s reactions to their written raps made me want to challenge myself and I dropped out after.
Can you tell us about your experience in the Dallas hip-hop scene? It’s not a scene in Texas that has yet commanded a ton of national attention. What were the markers of progress there and was the sound defined by anything?
I think the Dallas music scene is one of the best in the world. It’s a gem you can’t know unless you’re out here. There are some developing inseams to get more music out in the world. There’s a street side that has a history, but there’s a lyricist side as well. I think by 2020 the whole world will know the music scene in Dallas. It’ll just take time for everyone to catch up.
Where did you start with understanding what you want this first project to be?
I get visions of what I want it to be. I get loose ideas or skeletons of how I want the project to sound. I have a team in HighStandardz that help me bring that to life. I think it really centers around having trust in the people around me and being patient.
With this first project leaving so much to take in as a wider introduction to the musical audience, what do you hope lingers with the listeners following the first listen?
I expect for people to have meaningful dialogue about the content. I hope people have brutally honest conversations about race after. There are a lot of vital conversations to have about the roots of these issues. I hope people are inspired to try and change their environment. I don’t want to Make America Great Again, I want to make great, really great, for our side, for the first time.
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